House Republican Conference Secretary John Carter this week cosponsored and pledged to help pass the American Energy Innovation Act, HR 2300, a joint proposal of the Republican Study Committee and the Congressional Western Caucus to lower the cost of gas and electric bills.
"Congress seems to have a very short memory," says Carter. "Gas at $5 a gallon played a big role in the severity of this recession, and yet the Democrats are moving deliberately to put it right back up there again. Forcing working people out of their cars is not a responsible energy, environmental, or economic recovery plan. Our alternative provides a real roadmap for energy independence that will also help the budgets of American families."
The American Energy Act stands in direct opposition to House Democrat's plan that moved through the Energy and Commerce Committee this week, known as the "cap and trade" proposal. The plan will levy a more than $400 billion new tax on energy and food, and is estimated to raise gas prices to as high as $5 per gallon, and to hike household electric bills by over $100 a month to pay for new social programs and bailouts.
In contrast, the American Energy Act seeks to lower consumer energy prices by encouraging all energy sources simultaneously by expanding and increasing:
Solar, Wind, and Biomass Energy tax incentives
Hydro and Nuclear power expansion/recognition as renewable resources
Offshore and Alaska drilling for oil and natural gas
Clean coal electric plants
Natural gas vehicle fuel tax incentives
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Innovation
Micro-turbine development tax incentives
National power grid efficiency improvements
Allow consumers to buy standard light bulbs again
Energy efficient homes and buildings tax incentives
"I believe we have bipartisan consensus in America to achieve energy independence and improve our environment," says Carter. "We have two legislative options before us - a massive energy tax on consumers, or tax cuts to lower consumer energy costs and spur development of alternative clean energy. The choice is clear."